How Your Competitors Can Improve Your Business! by Noel Murphy
A simple way to improve your business and beat your competitors is by actually knowing your competitors.
Identify who your direct competitors are and see what they do very well and how you can improve it.
On the other hand see what they do poorly and make sure that you do not do the same.
You should be able to start researching your competitors online.
You can also talk to their current or past employees, current and past customers and suppliers to your industry that you might have in common.
To help you start the process you should address the following questions:
- How many firms in your area offer the same products/services that you offer?
- Of those firms, how many are bigger than you?
- Does bigger in your industry offer any specific competitive advantage?
- Are qualifications/licensing requirements needed to enter your industry?
- How important is it in your industry to employ experienced/qualified people?
- Is there an adequate number locally of qualified people who you can recruit, if needed?
The competitor analysis spreadsheet (link here) with action plan is a useful guideline to help you with your analysis.
The competitor analysis is a useful exercise to undertake and should benefit your business.
Please let me know if you need any assistance by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me on 021 4310266.
How to Get More From Your Accountant by Seamus Parfrey
Many businesses are not maximising the returns they can get from their accountant.
Generally they only pay their accountant for providing compliance services to them which involves preparing the annual accounts and tax returns.
Advice and assistance that helps you to build a stronger or more profitable business is much more valuable a service than undertaking compliance work.
Annual accounts are a historical document as they tell you where your business has been and not where it should be. They are as useful as a newspaper from last year.
They do not tell you:
- What your goals are;
- The path you need to take to meet your goals;
- What actions you need to take on the path;
- Whether you are still on the right path or need to change; and
- Whether you get to where you want to be at the time you have decided.
A strategic planning session can help you and your business become more productive and more profitable so that it reaches its full potential.
It will help you to develop a clear vision and purpose of where you want your business to be at some point in the future and a step by step road map of how to get there.
After a strategic planning session you will know:
- What your goals are and the timeframe for achieving them;
- What actions will be taken to achieve your goals;
- How to monitor and measure how effective the actions have been;
- When and how often the plan will be reviewed and changed.
Concentrating on improving your future financial prospects is far more beneficial than dwelling on past performance.
If you want advice on strategic planning please give me a call on 021 4310266.
Deadlines and reminders by Sinead Herlihy
Tax Deadlines - September 2012
Deadline 1-21 September
Deadline 14 September
- Preliminary Tax for accounting periosd ending between 1-31 October 2012
- First instalment of preliminary tax for "Large Companies" with a financial year ending between 1 - 31 March 2013
- Returns for accounting periods ending between 1 - 31 December 2011
- Pay balance of tax due on accounting periods ending between 1 - 31 December 2011
- Returns of third party information for accounting periods ending between 1 - 31 December 2011
- Return and payment of PAYE/PRSI P30 for August 2012
- Return and payment of dividend withholding tax for August 2012
- Return and payment of professional services witholding tax (PSWT) F30 for August 2012
Deadline 19 September
- Bi monthly VAT 3 return and payment (if due) for period July/August 2012
- 4 montly VAT 3 return and payment (if due) for period May - August 2012
Deadline 23 September
- Return and payment of RCT for August 2012
Deadline 25 September
- Return and payment of pension levy for 2012
Deadline 30 September
- Deadline for cross - border retund of VAT for 2011
Note: Where returns and payments are made electronically, the return and payment deadlines are the 23rd day of the month.